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|November 15, 1999||
PM constitutes taskforce on knowledge-based industries
The prime minister today constituted a taskforce on pharmaceuticals and knowledge-based industries head by Human Resources Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi.
This is in pursuance of the anouncement to this effect contained in the President's address on October 25, 1999 to the joint session of Parliament.
The members of the taskforce are Unions ministers Yashwant Sinha, Suresh Prabhu and Pramod Mahajan, pharma industry bigwigs Ajay Piramal, Dr Anji Reddy, D S Brar, corporate captains N R Narayana Murthy, scientific institutions' heads such as R A Mashelkar of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and N K Singh, secretary to the prime minister. Arvind Varma, secretary, department of chemicals and petrochemicals, is the member-secretary of the group.
The terms of reference of the taskforce are: to evaluate the status of the pharmaceutical industry in India; to identify the strategy required for each of its sectors in order to enable this industry to become a world leader; to suggest steps and any policy framework which is conducive for increased domestic and foreign investment in Indian R&D; to achieve quantum growth in production and exports of bulk drugs and formulations; to oversee expeditious implementation of the recommendations of the report of the pharmaceutical research and development committee set up by the government of India last year; to facilitate implementation of the recommendations of the ''group of knowledge-based industries'' set up by the prime minister's council on trade and industry; to suggest measures for strengthening the development and growth of traditional medicines such as ayurveda and natural products for significantly augmenting their production and exports.
The taskforce is expected to make its recommendations within a period of three months.
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